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Episode 14 - Using Google Display Ads for Financial Institutions

Meredith Olmstead
February 2, 2022

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Podcast Episode 14: The FI GROW team discusses Google display ads versus Google search ads, and when it's appropriate for community banks and credit unions to leverage the two to drive conversions for their products and services.

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Transcription:

Have you ever been talking about something that's really useful and thought, "That's a great idea, let's hit record so we can share this with everyone?” If you're looking for best practices for your bank or credit union, join us while we talk all things sales, marketing, and strategy for financial institutions. Let's make it happen with FI GROW Solutions.

Meredith Olmstead:

Hi there. I'm Meredith Olmstead, and I am the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions. And I am here with Ida Burr, our Digital Ads Manager. Say hi, Ida.

Ida Burr:

Hi, everyone.

Meredith Olmstead:

So we are here because we were just having a great conversation about when to use different kinds of paid ads on Google, whether or not you use display ads or search ads on Google. And so I told Ida that I really wanted to stop and press record, hit record, and share some of this information with the rest of you all because it's so useful for marketers who are putting together ad strategies for banks and credit unions. So, Ida, first things first, what is the difference between a display ad and a search ad?

Ida Burr:

The display ad is typically an image. You'll see them a lot if you're on different websites. They're the banner-type ones that are long and horizontal or they have little square ones that you'll see pop up on various websites. Whereas the search ads, they show up in Google when somebody types in the search and you see those populate on the top of the results usually. And it'll say ad very small and that's usually the only indication you really get that it's an ad.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha. Okay. So the display ads kind of follow you around potentially on different websites. A lot of times we tune them out because they kind of live at the top of the page or along the side of the page. They may or may not be related to what you're online looking for, right?

Meredith Olmstead:

So you might see a banner for toilet paper even though your online searching for a rental car. You just never know what the banner ad's going to be, whereas search ads are kind of like, if you put in a search term on Google, it shows you in your results page. It'll show you ads first and then the organic search results. Okay. So that makes sense. We do a lot search ads for our clients and we've done some other podcasts about that. When are display ads a good idea? Because we don't do a lot of display ads for our clients. Our clients are banks and credit unions, and we don't recommend them too often. Why is that, and when would we recommend them?

Ida Burr:

Definitely display ads are not a normal ad that we suggest to clients. Every once in a while, we'll have a campaign that we suggest display. They should not be a normal part of your campaign structure in Google, in our opinion. Some people see success with them, but it seems like it's a lot more of an eCommerce type of site because they can follow you around and say, "Oh, you were looking at this pair of shoes last week, remember?"

Meredith Olmstead:

Right. Oh, yeah.

Ida Burr:

And that kind of sparks your memory of a purchase you almost made. The display ads are great for getting a lot of impressions and getting in front of a lot of people and potentially a lot of clicks as well. But it's more of an interruptive type of ad, especially with bigger products that credit unions and banks offer, like applying for a mortgage. Like if you're looking for a rental car and you see an ad for a mortgage refi, you're probably not going to convert. It may be something you register in the back of your head and you think about later, but you're much more likely to get a conversion if somebody's actively searching, like in that mindset.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. So in a sense, it really goes back to the goal of your ad campaign.

Ida Burr:

Yes.

Meredith Olmstead:

Most of our clients are really keen to try to drive conversions. They want people to start and hopefully finish applications for new accounts, for loans, for whatever different product or service they're promoting through their ads. So if they're trying to get conversions, that's why we focus on search ads. But if instead, your campaign goal is to get impressions or to build brand awareness and try to start get in front of people, that might be when you would potentially use display ads. Okay, that's interesting. What would be another example of when you... or a successful example where you've run display ads for a client before and gotten some good results?

Ida Burr:

Yeah. One key too is always to make sure that you're established in the area that you're targeting. This is not like a first step in the door. This is a new area. Let's just throw a bunch of display ads out there. So if you have an established area where people do know your name, we've had success with kind of specialty products. We had a client who had a jumbo mortgage offer, and it's not something that we saw a lot of search volume on. People weren't actually typing in "jumbo mortgage rates" or "jumbo mortgages near me." It's kind of one of those things where they're like, "I need a product" and then they figure out that they qualify for a jumbo mortgage. It's not something that is very well known.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha.

Ida Burr:

So we did see some success with that campaign, building awareness of that and kind of targeting the area that they're well known in.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. Say somebody is trying to penetrate a new region or a new area, like maybe they're going to open a new branch in a totally new zip code and they want to get in front of people in that area. Would display ads be a good option in that scenario?

Ida Burr:

I mean, I think this kind of comes back to the way that the display ads are delivered. So they kind of just block it out. I think if you don't have that brand recognition, they just skim right over the ad when looking online. A better option for that would be creating a search campaign around credit union / bank terms. So people actively searching "credit union near me" or "free checking account near me," or "open a checking account online." Those types of searches, we tend to get better conversion for, where, again, if your brand isn't known there, nobody pays attention to them.

Meredith Olmstead:

All right. So, if you do have a specialty product promotion and it is an area where you're well known, display ads can potentially help drive impressions and maybe even some traffic, but not a lot of conversion. But if it's a brand new area, you probably need search to be your highest priority in that kind of a campaign.

Ida Burr:

Yes.

Meredith Olmstead:

What other kinds of quick ending tips should we give everybody about running display?

Ida Burr:

With the display ads, you definitely want to have the images professionally created.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay.

Ida Burr:

Because of all the different devices these ads will be shown on and different placements, you want to make sure the sizes are correct, the text is correct that if they see it on their desktop and then they see it on their cell phone, they could read it in both placements.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay.

Ida Burr:

Also not spending a ton on the campaign right off the bat. Start it off at $15 a day or so, tops. You can even start smaller and just see. Are you getting the results you're looking for? Are people clicking through? Is the traffic quality traffic or are they just bouncing right off the website, like they're clicking the ad by accident and just leaving? So definitely kind of dipping your toes in before taking the plunge.

Meredith Olmstead:

Okay. Yeah. Where we work with new ad clients when they come in, we've seen a lot of other professionals who work in digital ads and who work in Google ads who can dump a ton of budget into display ads if you're not careful. They get really worked up about it and they say, "Oh, look at all these millions of impressions and look at all these great clicks." But then when you dig into the quality of the traffic, these people are bouncing right off the page. There's no conversions going on. They're not spending any time on your website. So it actually has a negative impact on your domain authority over time with organic search, like we've seen where if you send really low quality traffic to your website, you can actually impact your organic search to go down. So that's definitely something to be cognizant of.

Meredith Olmstead:

Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much, Ida. This has been really useful. If you all want to learn more, we have lots of information about running digital ads on our website. We have some academy resources on figrow.com as well as our blog and all of our other information about case studies and that kind of thing that have worked well for clients in the past. So let's get out there and make it happen. We'll hopefully see you again on a future podcast. Thanks.

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